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Mapping Social Relations

Mapping Social Relations: A Primer in Doing Institutional Ethnography

Marie Campbell
Frances Gregor
Copyright Date: 2002
Edition: 2
Pages: 160
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  • Book Info
    Mapping Social Relations
    Book Description:

    This text is firmly grounded in critical social analysis.

    eISBN: 978-1-4426-0272-4
    Subjects: Sociology, Anthropology

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. [i]-[iv])
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. [v]-[vi])
  3. Introduction
    (pp. 1-10)

    We decided to call this book on institutional ethnography a primer. Its purpose is to equip readers with the basic ideas and instructions to conduct research using this approach. Not only are we beginning at a basic level, we also want to make some rather complex ideas more accessible. There already exists a body of good theoretical writing about this approach to studying everyday life but our own students — mainly graduate students from the human service professions — wanted a different kind of resource for learning how to do institutional ethnography. They wanted a text to use in the classroom, and...

  4. Chapter One Finding a Place to Begin
    (pp. 11-26)

    Newcomers to institutional ethnography must learn how to look at their research topics rather differently than if they were doing conventional research. For anyone who has received scholarly training, this means identifying and unlearning some common assumptions about research and accepted practices of knowing. The student of institutional ethnography is required, for instance, to see herself as a knower located in the everyday world and finding meaning there, in contrast to reliance on library research² and the application of theories — what we would see as remaining “in the discourse.” As instructors of institutional ethnography ourselves, this is where our teaching...

  5. Chapter Two Theory “in” Everyday Life
    (pp. 27-44)

    This chapter discusses key concepts and assumptions that support the method of institutional ethnography. Some of these ideas have already been encountered in Chapter One and others will be discussed more fully in later chapters. Here we give primacy to the concepts of social organization, social relations, ruling relations, texts, text-mediation and objective knowing, experience, discourse, and discursive organization — key conceptual tools for thinking about and investigating everyday/everynight life. These concepts, interpreted from Dorothy Smith’s usage, express the social ontology that institutional ethnography has been developed to explore. To bring them to life, we are showing how to see them...

  6. Chapter Three Beginning an Institutional Ethnography
    (pp. 45-58)

    The day will arrive when it is time to begin a research project. The choice of institutional ethnography as methodology suggests that the beginning institutional ethnographer has gained a certain level of clarity about this approach and what kind of questions it answers. Whether she is a student working towards a thesis, an academic preparing a funding proposal, or a community activist needing to better understand how certain issues are arising, she sees that doing institutional ethnography means taking a particular stance towards the topic. Dorothy Smith has insisted that investigation of the everyday world must begin in a particular...

  7. Chapter Four Collecting Data for an Institutional Ethnography
    (pp. 59-82)

    Possibly nothing is more important to data collection than a good grasp of what institutional ethnography can do and how it does it. The emphasis in the preceding chapters has been on developing, explaining, and theorizing institutional ethnography’s distinctive focus for research. We have emphasized that, before attempting to gather data for an institutional ethnography, the researcher needs to learn how to look at any situationas an institutional ethnographer does.Institutional ethnographers bring a particular interest to studying social settings and interaction in everyday life. They are interested in the particular conditions under which experiences arise and are lived...

  8. Chapter Five Analyzing Data in Institutional Ethnography
    (pp. 83-102)

    Once you have collected your data, you are confronted with the problem of what to do with it. Some sensemustbe made of it. Although making sense is the purpose behind conducting any research, the particular aims of institutional ethnography direct the kind of sense that is to be made. Also, the task of presenting the research findings coherently and persuasively, perhaps as a thesis or as a research report or article, is part of doing this kind of analysis. In writing the analysis, your goal is to make the research product not only understandable but also convincing. Analysis...

  9. Chapter Six Putting Institutional Ethnography into Practice
    (pp. 103-128)

    The claim made for institutional ethnography is that it offers a knowledge resource for people who want to work towards a more equitable society. Its politics are built into its mode of inquiry. It requires taking sides. As we conclude this book, we want to return to the question that motivated our writing:can anyone except technical experts with lengthy scholarly training do institutional ethnography?We have shown our hand on this point already. We know that many people who are attracted to institutional ethnography simply cannot make a commitment to an extended scholarly career. This book is premised on...

  10. References
    (pp. 129-132)
  11. Notes
    (pp. 133-134)
  12. Index
    (pp. 135-137)